Are You Training Your New Managers?

BY Kathy Crosett
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Businesses spend a lot of time worrying about keeping the sale pipeline full. Can you say that you spend an equal amount of time thinking about and developing current staff members for leadership roles? Do you know what it takes to help an individual contributor become a leader? DDI, Inc. regularly studies leadership. Their new snapshot of front-​line leaders shows what’s happening in the field.

Average Age of Promotion

Did you know that most leaders in an organization waited about six years before they moved into a management position? At that point, the employee has a bit of maturity and has an average age of 36. Once an employee has received that first promotion, they believe they are on their way to a leadership career. In fact, 64% of employees told researchers they see the initial management promotion as a vote of confidence in them. They are willing to stay with a company and a manager who show that kind of confidence.

Lag Time in Training

Unfortunately, the move to management doesn’t often come with any training. New managers wait an average of four years before they are able to access training. In the meantime, they’re in a sink or swim environment. DDI analysts point out that “frontline leaders are responsible for more than 80 percent of an organization’s workforce and are directly responsible for executing an organization's strategy.” For four years, your managers are trying to figure out how to motivate employees, build team loyalty and achieve the goals you set for them. This workplace situation could seriously impact your bottom line in today's economy. Managers and team members who don't feel supported can easily find another position.

How to Improve Your Promotional System

If you follow the typical promotional patterns at your company, you’re likely moving top performers into management positions. That strategy can work if you offer support and training. For example, on-​the-​job behavioral assessments based on a system like the DISC theory can help managers understand their team members. Managers who take this kind of assessment will learn more about their work style as well.

Remember that it’s not enough to show off a freshly earned M.B.A. It’s more important for managers to understand that if they have a tendency to micromanage, they should back off on supervising team members who need independence to thrive.